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Syria opposition strikes unity deal (VIDEO)

The Syria opposition unity deal comes amid pressure to form new opposition leadership.

Syria riad seif sayda 2012 11 11Enlarge
Syrian regime opponent Riad Seif (R) and Syrian National Council (SNC) chief Abdel Basset Sayda attend the General Assembly of the SNC meeting in Doha on Nov. 6, 2012, aimed at forging a more united front against the Syrian regime. (KARIM JAAFAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrian opposition groups have reached a unity deal to form a single coalition against President Bashar al-Assad.

The groups, meeting in Doha, struck the deal Sunday amid growing pressure to work together in order to secure international support, euronews reported.

The new leadership will be called the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces.

Later Sunday, opposition delegates elected Islamic preacher Maath al-Khatib as president of the new coalition, The Associated Press reported.

The 52-year-old al-Khatib left Damascus for Cairo in July after several periods of detention by the Syrian authorities, and had earlier attempted to end the bloody conflict, according to BBC News.

Leading opposition figures Riad Seif and Suheir Atassi were elected vice presidents of the coalition. Mustafa Sabbagh was voted the coalition's secretary-general.

More than 36,000 people have been killed in the long-running uprising against al-Assad.

Tthousands more have fled the country since the unrest began last year.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/121111/syria-opposition-strikes-unity-deal